Anti-Israel protesters gather at Columbia University lawn, vowing to hold line

Protests at Columbia University continued on Friday following mass arrests the day before. A large police presence, including officers in riot gear, was reported as demonstrators, including actress Susan Sarandon, marched through the streets and made their way to the university. Chanting and carrying signs and flags, protesters voiced their grievances, with some accusing Columbia University President Minouche Shafik of failing to protect Jewish students on campus and address antisemitism.

The mood on Friday was described as quieter compared to the previous day, with protesters setting up an encampment on the university's lawn. The demonstrators, who are calling for the university to divest from corporations profiting from Israeli actions in Palestine, have vowed to stay until their demands are met. Despite the dismantling of the encampment, protest activity is expected to continue on campus.

The New York Police Department reported that 108 people were arrested and given summons for trespassing during the Thursday operation, with additional charges for obstruction of governmental administration. Columbia University spokesperson stated that the university enforces rules regarding protest activity, and remains committed to ensuring the core functions of the institution continue.

The police operation at Columbia University was the first mass arrests on campus since 1968, when students protested against the Vietnam War and other issues. Protests in support of Palestine have been ongoing at Ivy League campuses like Columbia since October, escalating as tensions in the region persist.


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